Monday, March 26, 2012

New Toys: Axe Fx

I just picked up a new piece of gear... well, new to me. It's a rack unit by the good folks at Fractal Audio called an Axe Fx Standard. You may remember me posting a while back about the Digidesign Eleven Rack. Imagine an Eleven Rack on steroids with better product support and almost 10x the capabilities. This thing's a monster.

I'm only just beginning to crack the surface of this beast, but here's the plan. I'm intending on putting the Axe in a rack with a single space power amp (either a Carvin or an ART... both fair well with Axe users) and running it into a 1x12 cabinet. This rig can be run at very low volumes with the cabinet acting as a personal on-stage monitor. The FOH will get a stereo send from the XLR outs complete with cabinet modeling for the room. The on-stage cabinet would function without the modeling. This is a level of functionality that I wanted from the Eleven Rack, but was one step beyond the processor's capabilities. Too bad too!

The other function I'm hoping to use the Axe for is a complete effects processing unit. I would run all my delays and modulations through it and run it in the loop of the Budda. Fear not, the Budda isnt' going anywhere. By running the Axe in the loop, i can standardize my effects from rig to rig, and the Axe has far more processing power than my pedals. Downside, it's much harder to be spontaneous with settings on the Axe. So, I'll likely keep a pedalboard as well, for those times when I just want my Direct Drive and a tape delay.

So, new toys! If I get this thing figured out, I'll bring it out for one of the April shows. But, for now, there's a lot of learning that needs to happen first.

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